For the second time in less than one week there was violence at the Damascus Gate on Wednesday in Jerusalem. This time, like many others recently, was captured on video or the rampaging terrorist with a weapon would surely have been described as an innocent young man, shot down in cold blood. More on this, below.
The first attack took place on Saturday, Oct. 10. A 19 year old Arab resident of Jerusalem stabbed two members of Israel’s border police. The stabber was neutralized at the scene as he continued attempting to stab other officers.
The second incident took place late afternoon on Wednesday, Oct. 14. A Palestinian Arab male, later identified as Basel Sider, 19, was observed acting suspiciously. The man was wearing a camouflage t-shirt and pants. When Israeli officers approached him, he lunged at them and broke through the Damascus Gate checkpoint line. Israeli police repeatedly shouted for him to halt. As the Arab continued running with what appeared and was later confirmed to be a knife blade in his right hand, he was shot dead by Israeli officers on the scene.
Had there been no video, the Israeli officers who shot the terrorist would have been labeled murderers and executioners. Acting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been only the most prominent individual to have made such horrific claims, paying no heed to the facts, recently denouncing the shooting deaths of rampaging terrorists as “field executions.”
In Wednesday’s incident, the only thing that was immediately known was that a young Arab man was shot dead by Israelis.
An MSNBC journalist was on the scene when the incident took place. Of course, as with athletic referees before the time of videotape, eyewitnesses are not always accurate in their observations. That is surely particularly so when an eyewitness may have a particular bias. This journalist was removed from Gaza for sloppy reporting during the summer 2014 conflict in Gaza.
What that MSNBC reporter, Ayman Moyheldin, tweeted out on Wednesday was, “I just witnessed the shooting of man running down the stairs towards Damascus gate before being gunned down.” Twenty-five minutes later, he tweeted again, this time writing that just at he was about to broadcast live “Israeli security opened fire on a Palestinian man dressed in camouflage. Killed instantly.”
The MSNBC eyewitness journalist filed a live report to his anchor. According to the report by Mohyeldin, the Arab man was not dressed in camouflage and he had no knife in his hands. The reporter also said that there were no injured Israelis on the scene, the Israelis removed the Arab’s clothes, probably in search of a bomb, and there was none on his body. Moyheldin assured his viewers that the Arab man “did not look to me to be particularly armed.”
In other words, according to “eyewitness” Mohyeldin, Israelis had just shot to death an innocent man.
But Mohyeldin’s anchor in the studio had already seen the video taken by Mohyeldin’s cameramen.
As Jeff Dunetz at The Lid explained, José Diaz Balart interrupted Mohyeldin on-air, and explained to the reporter and the audience that Mohyeldin’s version of events did not track the facts revealed on the videotape.
Diaz Balart then showed a screen capture from the video, which clearly shows the Arab man wearing camouflage shirt and pants, and holding a knife in his right hand.
Moyheldin attempted a few more times to rectify himself, but Diaz Balart stopped him cold. In fact, the news show host reprimanded the field reporter, explaining that it was always essential to provide a full context for any incident being reported.
Yeah, what he said.
Watch the video of the on air exchange, as captured by The Lid: